LITESPORT London Lite Friday, 25 September 2009 43 Parnell looks like hell be a world beater SOUTH AFRICA skipper Graeme Smith believes Wayne Parnell has all the attributes to develop into the leading fast bowler in world cricket. After taking a pasting at the hands of Sri Lanka on Tuesday, Parnell returned his best ever ODI figures of 5-57 as the Proteas got their Champions trophy campaign back on track against New Zealand yesterday with a crushing five- wicket win. Today was more of the level we expect of each other, said Smith. Wayne and Dale Steyn bowled with intensity and in the right areas. Waynes proved that hes got the skill. Today, he showed that he could bounce back. Parnell (above) himself was brutally honest about a patchy spell. Compared to Tuesday, I felt better, but I still went for a lot of runs, he said. But to pick up five wickets is pretty good. GROUP A P W L RR PTS PAKISTAN 1 1 0 +1.7 2 WEST INDIES 1 0 1 -1.7 0 AUSTRALIA 0 0 0 0 0 INDIA 0 0 0 0 0 GROUP B P W L RR PTS SRI LANKA 1 1 0 +1.4 2 SOUTH AFRICA 2 1 1 -0.05 2 NEW ZEALAND 1 0 1 -0.9 0 ENGLAND 0 0 0 0 0 Top two teams into semis on 2/3 October. Final to be played on 5 October CHAMPIONS TROPHY FIXTURES 22 Sep: South Africa vs Sri Lanka Sri Lanka won by 55 runs (D/L) 23 Sep: Pakistan vs West Indies Pakistan won by 5 wickets Yesterday: South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa won by by 5 wickets Today: Sri Lanka vs England New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg Tomorrow: West Indies vs Australia New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg India vs Pakistan SuperSport Park, Centurion Sunday: New Zealand vs Sri Lanka New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg South Africa vs England SuperSport Park, Centurion 28 Sep: Australia vs India SuperSport Park, Centurion 29 Sep: England vs New Zealand New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg 30 Sep: Australia vs Pakistan SuperSport Park, Centurion India vs West Indies New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg All games live on Sky Sports Were on the Mendis vows positive Flower Going home: Nathan Bracken Bracken body blow dents Aussie chances AUSTRALIA have been dealt a massive blow ahead of their ICC Champions Trophy campaign with fast bowler Nathan Bracken returning home due to a knee injury. The 32-year-old is battling a long- term knee problem and it was decided that the best course of action was for him to return home to undergo assessment. The nature of Nathans right knee problem has meant that he has had some ongoing manageable pain, but this has now reached a point where he is unable to continue playing in the ICC Champions Trophy, Cricket Australia physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said. He will return to Australia to consult a knee specialist for an opinion on the best course of action. His return to cricket will be determined after consulting the specialist. One of the worlds best limited overs bowlers, Brackens ability to swing the ball and keep things tight will be sorely missed. A decision on a replacement player will be made by the National Selection Panel in the coming days and will need to be confirmed by the ICCs Technical Committee before being announced. Australia begin their tournament against the West Indies, who were thrashed in their opening game by Pakistan, on Saturday. Younis Khan, meanwhile, will be fit to lead Pakistan in their clash against India at Centurion tomorrow. WEST INDIES V AUSTRALIA GROUP A, TOMORROW, 8.30AM (SKY SPORTS 2) ENGLAND head coach Andy Flower insists his batsmen wont be caught with their trousers down by Sri Lankas latest spin sensation Ajantha Mendis. England kick-off their Champi- ons Trophy campaign today against a Sri Lanka side which made mincemeat of hosts South Africa on Tuesday. Andrew Strauss and co have regularly been embarrassed by MuttiahMuralitharan inthepast and now have the added problem of having to cope with the new kid on the block. Although some of the current team faced Mendis when he was a net bowler on the tour of Sri Lanka two years ago, they have not played the mystery spinner, whose 71 one-day interna- tional wickets come at inter- vals of just 22 deliveries, in a match situation. The guys have ideas, F lower (right) said. Seeing him for the first time is surprising, but our guys have had a good look of footage of him. Theyhavealsospokentoother people who have had success against him so they are as pre- pared as they can be without actually playing against him. Mendis, 24, is the sort of spin- ner who constantly keeps his opponents guessing and has the full repertoire of googlies, off- breaks,top-spinners,flippersand legbreaks in his locker. After impressing on debut in the Caribbean, Mendis grew in stature -- in particular, because of his carrom ball, which he releases with an unusual snap of his fingers. InashortspanMendishasflum- moxed some international bats- men whove played spin pretty well in their careers. Indiawereparticularlyclueless againsthimintheAsiaCupfinal, whereMendisbagged6-13inwhat was only his eighth one-day international. Suchishispotencythatthe worryisbattersbecome defensive to counter him. That is a dan- ger, admitted Flower. But I think batting is always a balance between attack and defence and each individual has to find that bal- ance the best he can. Paul Collingwood is one of those England players who have a particularly poor record in combatting spin. The former ODI skipper is in a terrible run of form at present, but with his place under threat he has refuted suggestions he is a cricketer in decline. He said: Im quite taken aback at the idea. Ive had a great year of international cricket, my best ever in terms of stats and tons. Idontagree.Infact,itsridicu- lous, thats why I am laughing. Ive nothing in my mindset as negative as that. England are clued up on Sri Lankas mystery spin king SRI LANKA VENGLAND GROUPB,FROM1.30PM(SKYSPORTS1) BY JAMES GOLDMAN Im coming to get you: Ajantha Mendis is looking forward to terrorising Englands batsmen in Johannesburg today a net bowler on the tour of yearstwoLankaSri nothavetheyago, mysterytheplayed 71whosespinner, one-day interna- wicketstional inter-atcome 22justofvals aindeliveries, match situation. haveguysThe F lowerideas, Seeingsaid.) rst time ishim for the fi surprising, but our guys have thethatpotencyhisisSuch becomebattersisworry defensive to counter him. admittedger, IButFlower. isbattingthink balanceaalways attackbetween anddefenceand individualeach nd that bal-has to fi hebesttheance can. 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